Hello, Yarnies <3

Oh, how I have missed you all! I have been a bit absent from these write-ups as I have been quite unwell. But I really wanted to make an effort and talk about this upcoming (controversial) hallmark holiday! <3 It is so timely because this blog post is all about luuuuuvvvvv! (And if your baby daughter coughing in your mouth, thereby spreading her 'precious' little day-care nasty-bugs, isn't love... then I don't know what is!!!)

Let's talk about the 'V' word....

When discussing the 'least favorite' hallmark holiday overall, I am almost certain that Valentine's Day takes the cake... I mean, come on *eye-roll* romantic dinners for two in 'The City', extravagant jewelry wrapped in Tiffany Blue, indulgent chocolates, body-con dresses, fancy suits, sexy see-through lingerie: these are the perfect ingredients for an over-the-top Instagramable date, right?

Despite my 'love of love', I'm a bit of a realist. Whether you are long-term married/partnered, single, in a new relationship, whatever your sexual orientation, Valentine's Day has waaaaay over the top standards, and for most of us 'common-people', it is often impossible to meet them thus resulting in disappointment.  

Despite being a happily married woman in a very long-term relationship, this was my firm belief of Valentine's Day all the way until my late 20s: "oh God, Feb 14th is approaching, prepare for inevitable sorrow!!" *drama ensues*

But this all changed one year. And it all changed because of my Dad. 

One dreaded Valentine's Day, I watched in total cynicism as mass-bunches of red roses were being delivered to the ' way-younger-than-me' women in our office. Gifted with love from their boyfriends and their disposable incomes.

Now, let's be clear, it wasn't that my dear husband neglected me and therefore never bought me flowers. It was that we made a pact: together, we acknowledged that flowers will die and, along with them, so does our hard-earned cash that could have been used towards the mortgage.... or yarn...

As I said, this all changed because 'this year' was different: this time, the delivery-man asked for me. I was in shock and clarified that my name was 'Renee, with an R-E-N-E-E...' After a bit of 'backwards and forwards', he insisted that this package was for me, which he handed over along with a note from my Dad. 

In short, Dad wrote to me the sweetest message about how much he loved me. He said that although Valentine's Day is typically between lovers, it should also be a day to celebrate how much you love and cherish those near and dear to you (and for him, this meant expressing his love for his 'forever little girl'). I opened the package to find a sketch of our adorable Chihuahua named Patch, hand-drawn by my Dad (my Dad is an amazingly talented artist!) <3

There is a lesson in all of this...

My Dad is pretty wise. And he is also really good at turning a negative into a positive. My negative fathomable hatred for Valentine's Day turned into a day of total adoration for my husband, my parents, my brother, our pets, and our whole extended family and now, my 'forever little girl'. He is always saying how important it is to show someone how much they mean to you, because you just never know when our time on this Earth will come to an end ("but it doesn't have to be big!", he would always say!). And gifting me something handmade was like holding onto the most priceless artefact in the world, something I will always treasure... 

In our family, we now make Valentine's Day our own holiday. To hell with formalities and conformities! We make our own celebrations ;) 

Speaking of priceless artefacts....

Introducing these beautiful little Love-Birds, our latest Yarnish Makes from designer Melody Tallon of Artefacts Crochet <3

You might remember Melody from her very beautiful Yarnish Makes designs: The BotaniCAL, Jazzy Clutch, and the lastest Day's End Shawl. Melody is now considered a Yarnish Makes Veteran! We love her and we love her contributions to our Yarnish Makes Collection. 

These adorable little guys are absolutely brimming with love! They are a very quick and easy make. I like to refer them as a 'palette-cleanser', for the avid crocheter, they are lovely and straight-forward (perfect when watching the ultimate love-fest, MAFS!). They are also beginner-friendly, for those who are yet to dabble in the addictive artform of amigurumi.  

These little lovers have been made from Scheepjes Catona Yarn, however, you can use whatever yarn your heart desires! This is a great stash-busting project, use up all your odds and ends to create birds of all different shapes and sizes! Just make sure you adjust your hook size accordingly (remember, for amigurumi it is preferable to go down two sizes to what is recommended on the yarn label). 

Love Birds are the perfect Valentine's gift for whomever you choose. They are the perfect way to say 'I love you' <3 I am certain that whoever is lucky enough to be gifted with these precious amis will be totally love-struck! 

I spoke to Melody about her latest design, and here is what she had to say: 

"Nicole was wanting a Valentine’s token, so I knew it had to be something small, something that fitted neatly in the palm of your hand, and of course, it HAD to be cute. I wanted to get away from the regulation hearts, because there are so many out there. But what, then? My eyes strayed to two little china figurines sitting on my entertainment unit – two little birds. Eureka!"

When chatting about some top tips for making your Love Birds, Melody suggests: 

"Don’t expect miracles when you are first starting out, and don’t be hard on yourself. Everyone had to learn the basic stitches, how to hold the hook most comfortably for them, and how to get a basically even tension. Don’t let mistakes put you off, and keep trying"

She also says: 

"You really need to make use of stitch markers in this pattern, so you don’t lose your place. There are lots of little pieces that possibly won’t look like what they are meant to be, but pay attention to the instructions (read each section before you start crocheting it) and study the photos for placement. And if your tail is a bit wonky, or the heart has shifted off-centre, don’t worry – none of us is perfect and it’s what makes us, and our birdies, unique."

Guess what!

Because we love our Yarnish Community sooooo much, this pattern has been posted for free below! (Thank you, Melody, for this amazing gesture <3) 

That's right, the entire pattern for these little Love Birds have been uploaded below! 

We hope you enjoy making them! <3 <3 <3

Now let's get started: 

Little Birdie Love

by Melody Tallon

Cute little Valentine token that fits in the palm of your hand. Make one to keep and one (or more) to give.

Skill level: Adventurous Beginner

Yarn used: Scheepjes Catona - small amounts of various colours

Gauge: Firm Toy

Hooks/needle: 2.5mm

Other supplies: Stitch marker, fiberfill (stuffing), embroidery floss for eyes (if not using yarn), yarn needle

Sizing: 7cm tall

Hints, tips, and pattern notes: The body and head of the bird are worked in a spiral, so use a stitch marker in the last stitch of each round to keep track of where the round finishes.

Special stitches/abbreviations:

Invdec: invisible decrease - insert hook through the front loop of next 2 sts, yarn over hook and pull loop through, yarn over hook and pull through both loops on hook

3dcdec: 3 double crochet decrease - yarn over hook, (insert hook in next st and pull loop through, yarn over hook and pull through 2 loops) x 3, yarn over hook and pull through all loops on hook

3scdec: 3 single crochet decrease - (insert hook in next st and pull loop through) x 3, yarn over hook and pull through all loops on hook

Let's begin:

With desired colour, make an MR:
R1: 6sc in the ring, secure (6 sts)
R2: 2sc in each st (12 sts)
R3: [sc, 2sc in next st] x 6 (18 sts)
R4: [2sc, 2sc in next st] x 6 (24 sts)
R5: [3sc, 2sc in next st] x 6 (30 sts)
R6: [4sc, 2sc in next st] x 6 (36 sts)
R7 – 16: sc in each st around
R17: [4sc, invdec] x 6 (30 sts)
R18: sc in each st around
R19: [3sc, invdec] x 6 (24 sts)
R20 – 24: sc in each st around
R25: [2sc, invdec] x 6 (18 sts)
R26: [sc, invdec] x 6 (12 sts)
Stuff firmly.
R27: invdec around (6 sts)
Cut yarn, thread tail through tops of all sts, pull tight, knot and bury end inside body.

Wings (make 2)
With the desired colour, ch8:
R1: sk1, sc, 2hdc, dc, (3dc), 2dc (9 sts)
R2: ch3, dc in first st, dc, 3dcdec, dc, 2hdc, sc in last st (7 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a tail for sewing. Fold wing in half lengthwise and sew long edges together. Sew short edges on to body. Bury yarn ends in body.

With the desired colour, ch10:
R1: sk1, sc, slst in next ch, [ch1, hdc, slst in next ch] x 3, ch1, dc in last ch, ch3, slst into last ch (10 sts, 7ch)
Fasten off, leaving a tail for sewing. Sew to top of the head with the tallest end at the front. Bury yarn ends in head.

With the desired colour, ch2:
R1: sk1, (3hdc) in next ch (3 sts)
R2: ch2, 3scdec
Fasten off, leaving a tail for sewing. Using hdc row as top of beak, sew beak to head, anchoring bottom of beak to head and encouraging top of beak to fold forward. Bury yarn ends in head.

With desired colour, make an MR:
R1: Work the following into the ring: ch1, 3dc, hdc, dc, ch1, dc, hdc, 3dc, slst.
Fasten off tightly, leaving a tail for sewing, and pull ring tight. Sew heart to belly, encouraging the ch1 between dcs to a point as you stitch it on. Bury yarn ends in body.

With the desired colour: 
R1: ch8, sk3ch, 3dc, hdc, sc in last ch (6 sts)
R2: ch10, sk3ch, 4dc, 2hdc, sc in last ch (8 sts)
R3: ch8, sk3ch, 3dc, hdc, sc in last ch (6 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a tail for sewing. Sew onto the back of the body in the appropriate place. Bury yarn ends in body.

And you're all done!! 

We cannot wait to see your little Love Birds! Don't forget to share them in our Yarnish Community or on Instagram using the #yarnishmakes

Happy Yarning!




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